apparently Sylvia Plath once had a dream in which Marilyn Monroe came to her like a fairy godmother and did her nails and promised her a “new, flowering life” like two depressed early 1960s American icons.. one literary, one filmic… coming together in a glamorous psychic dreamworld… an iconic moment for all suicidal bixches everywhere
Anders: That’s so beautiful, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. Did you nail her?
Axl: You know, for the god of poetry, you are a crude prick.
Anders: Did thou embed thy staff of love in the sweet cave of her womanly folds?
There were two things in the world that my mother always did: she got her nails done and she pulled weeds. These actions seem contradictory, and they are, but my mother was always a little odd.
She liked getting her nails done in pretty shapes and designs, flowers or hearts or weird geometry. She was passionate about them.
But I wouldn’t use that word to describe her weed-pulling. I would say it was more frantic than passionate, and later more routine than frantic. And even stranger, she would only pull the ones on my grandfather’s grave.
They would sprout spontaneously fast, but I never saw it happen. They had little flimsy stems, and on top were five blades of what looked like grass. At the ends they were colored beige, the coloration only about have an inch long.
I had always thought they were pretty, but my mother yanked them out of the ground before I could get a closer look.
She had obviously just pulled some from Grandpa’s grave when she arrived at my house almost two weeks ago. There was a bit of dirt on her fingertips before she washed them.
We had a nice chat. I showed her some pictures I took of the local park and she showed me her fascinating new nail design, a jig-saw puzzle pattern.
We had lunch and she decided it was time to head back home. I hugged her and waved goodbye as she got in her car and drove away.
I got the call the next morning. My mother was believed to have been involved in an accident, and I was needed to identify her body.
I went to the hospital and confirmed that yes, it was my mother. It seemed so impossible. I had seen her just hours before.
Yesterday was her funeral, an open casket. She would have loved it. The gathering was beautiful, even if I was too sad to care
I had let out a bitter sob when I saw that her jig-saw nail design had been touched up, looking immaculate.
I cried the whole way home. This morning I woke up and came back. She was buried beside my grandfather.
I looked away for just a moment, to gather my sanity and calm myself down. As soon as I looked back, I saw it. Another one of those damned weeds was swaying in the light breeze, as if to mock both my mother and me.
I crouched down to examine the biggest piece of my mother that I had at my disposal.
But the ends were different. Instead of the usual beige, they were patterned. I caught my breath as I recognized the carefully drawn jig-saws.
I looked around at the rest of the graveyard in horror.